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UK — 544,000 stepfamilies with dependent children in 2011

May 12, 2014

544,000 stepfamilies with dependent children in 2011
Source: Office for National Statistics

While the number of couple non-stepfamilies with dependent children has risen by 4% between 2001 and 2011, the number of couple stepfamilies with dependent children has fallen by 14% from 631,000 to 544,000 over the same period. There are no clear reasons for the fall in the number of stepfamilies but possible factors include:

+ A rise in the average age at which women have their first baby. This means that children are less likely to be born to younger couples who are more likely to break up. This may lessen the chance of children becoming stepchildren later on

+ Lone parents may be increasingly likely to have a partner who lives elsewhere. This partner may be a stepparent to the lone parent’s children while not living with them permanently.

Estimates from the General Lifestyle Survey in 2011 for Great Britain show that 85% of stepfamilies with dependent children included children from the woman’s previous relationship, 11% included children from the man’s previous relationship and 4% from both partners’ previous relationships.

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